Last Day of Earth Month: Here Are 5 Favorite Sustainability Stories

Tales from the inaugural Sustainable Packaging Expo.
Tales from the inaugural Sustainable Packaging Expo. Lauren Cusimano
Today is the last day of Earth Month — although yes, we certainly should be concerned about environmentalism year-round, 24/7, every waking moment. In honor of Earth Month 2019’s last day on … well, earth … we’ve listed our favorite sustainability and environmentally focused food stories from recent months.

How Phoenix Is Fighting Food-Packaging Waste
Learn how local organizations and business are stepping up to help food venue operators find better options for food packaging. And by better, we mean packaging, cutlery, and dinnerware made with everything from plastic bottles to cane sugar, cornstarch, wheat, and dead leaves — all of which were available at the inaugural Sustainable Packaging Expo.

click to enlarge Edible violas about to get the "dead head" treatment at Mountain Sky Farms from owner John Naughton. - CHRIS MALLOY
Edible violas about to get the "dead head" treatment at Mountain Sky Farms from owner John Naughton.
Chris Malloy
Mountain Sky Farms: An Elite, One-Man Show Without City Water
One of the best unheralded farms in greater Phoenix doesn’t have water. Instead of using the city grid, it harvests power from the sky. “I’m really in tune with the plants and the soil moisture,” Mountain Sky Farms owner John Naughton says. “I think some people get spoiled when they can just turn on valves and walk away.”

How to Get Over the Mental Block of Misleading Expiration Dates
Don't throw out good food just because of the sell-by or best-by dates. In fact, it may have a third of its life still in it, according to Christopher Wharton. This ASU associate professor of nutrition and assistant dean of innovation and strategic initiatives says food waste affects our environment, wallets, and health.

click to enlarge The $5 compost bins available at the 27th Avenue Transfer Station. - LAUREN CUSIMANO
The $5 compost bins available at the 27th Avenue Transfer Station.
Lauren Cusimano
Food Waste: Why Should You Care and How You Can Help by Composting
The first installment of our series on food waste, Table Scraps, focused on composting and the city of Phoenix’s $5 compost bins. Apparently, starting a composting habit is kind of easy.

Tempe’s Bambox Produce Is Delivering the Future of Farming
Imagine a world where produce is grown indoors under bright pink lights. This is not a dream; it is a vision by sustainability enthusiasts Nathan Knight and Chris Fox of Bambox Produce in Tempe — because organic is so 2018.
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Lauren Cusimano is Phoenix New Times' food and drink editor. She is a journalist and food waste writer based in Tempe. Joys include eating wings, riding bikes, knowing everyone at the bar, talking too much about The Simpsons, and falling asleep while reading.
Contact: Lauren Cusimano